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Easy Pretzel Rolls (with frozen dinner rolls)

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I made Easy Pretzel Buns out of frozen dinner rolls. No flour, no mixer, no mess. Just a few hours of rising time and you get pretzel rolls for any meal! These easy pretzel rolls are boiled and baked and taste just like a soft pretzel – with a fraction of the work.

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Easy Pretzel Buns made with frozen dinner rolls! Only 10 minutes of active work gets you amazing pretzel rolls!

Quick, name one kind of bread you cannotstopeating. For me? Soft Pretzels. I can’t even buy them or make them without eating the whole batch, which is why this recipe is probably going to be my curse. They sell pretzel rolls and pretzel sticks at most grocery stores these day and I cannot buy them. The worst is when I go to Costco and have to walk very quickly by the bread aisle lest I buy a Costco-sized bag of pretzel sticks or bites. It’s ONE SERVING, if you ask me!

Basically, I’m obsessed with soft pretzels. (I love them so much I’ve even made them out of cake mix. Twice.)

I made pretzel buns a long time ago, from a Guy Fieri recipe. They were good, but they took such a long time. Mix the dough, let it rise. Punch it down, let it rise. Cut it up, let it rise. Boil, bake. OhmigoshIjustwanttoeatonerightnow!

These? Are not those pretzel rolls. These? Are easy. Like, no mixing. No flour. No mess. I started this recipe with frozen dinner rolls. They’re the perfect dinner side dish or rolls for sandwiches!

RIGHT? I’m a genius. (Probably not, I didn’t google. I like to think I came up with the idea. Especially since I did these easy pretzel bites awhile back.)

The fact that these require literally no work could be a good thing…or a bad thing. I don’t know, are you dieting?

Easy Pretzel Rolls start with frozen dinner rolls. Boil them in baking soda and bake them and they turn into pretzel rolls!

Easy Pretzel Buns made with frozen dinner rolls! Only 10 minutes of active work gets you amazing pretzel rolls!

Really, it’s that easy. No mixing, no yeast, no mess!

What makes pretzel bread different than other rolls?

Pretzels, like bagels, are boiled before baking. That’s what gives them their chewier texture versus regular bread or rolls. The difference between pretzels and bagels is that pretzels are boiled in a baking soda bath instead of plain boiling water. You can skip the boiling and the baking soda, but then you won’t have pretzel rolls. The acidity in the baking soda works magic and creates the pretzel!

Baking soda gives soft pretzels their brown, shiny crust and their distinctive pretzel flavor.

Don’t skip the baking soda – because you won’t get pretzels if you don’t. Really, it’s simple: you just boil water and add baking soda, then boil the rolls a minute or so before baking. It’s a little added time but worth it. 

What are pretzel buns made of?

Traditionally, homemade pretzel rolls are a yeast bread dough,  made with flour and water, yeast, salt and oil. However, these pretzel buns are made of one ingredient: frozen dinner rolls.

I started with Rhode’s Dinner Rolls (but you can use ANY frozen roll brand). I always have some brand of frozen rolls in my freezer because I like to make monkey bread with them and serve them for dinner occasionally. They come frozen individually, so you can grab 1 or 9 or 12 or whatever you need.

Since the rolls are frozen, you need to let them thaw and rise a little bit. Place them in a pan (like a 9×13″) that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Spread them out so they won’t stick to each other, cover and let them sit for a few hours until they’ve thawed and then doubled in size. Now, if it’s winter and your house is cold, this might take longer. I find that they rise quicker if I place the pan on a preheated oven. The heat comes off the oven and helps the yeast do it’s magic.

You don’t want these to get so huge that they collapse when you touch them. Just about double in size is perfect, err on the side of smaller. I made these the first time with just thawed not risen rolls and they worked fine, but they were just small.

Can you use refrigerated dinner rolls instead of frozen?

YES you can!! I’ve also done this same exact method using Pillsbury canned dinner rolls and crescent rolls. Check out my easy pretzel bites recipe!

stack of pretzel rolls

How do you boil pretzels?

It’s really simple and just takes a few extra minutes.

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Add the baking soda – be careful it’ll boil over if the water in the pot is too full.
  • Boil the roll on each side about one minute, then remove to an oiled cookie sheet.
  • Dust with salt and bake!

How to eat pretzel buns:

(And, really, if you’re asking me that, I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.)

  • Dinner rolls that are pretzels – wow your kids.
  • Lunch sandwiches – they’re perfect for lunch boxes.
  • Dip them in soup.
  • Dip them in cheese. It is Super Bowl season, after all.
  • Eat them plain, hidden in a closet, because you’re supposed to be dieting.

Easy Pretzel Buns made with frozen dinner rolls! Only 10 minutes of active work gets you amazing pretzel rolls!

Other pretzel roll recipes that you’ll want to try:

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pretzel buns stacked
5 from 1 vote
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Servings: 12 rolls

Easy Pretzel Rolls

Prep Time:
5 hrs
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 15 mins
These Easy Pretzel Rolls make the best dinner rolls or buns for sandwiches - they start with frozen or refrigerated dinner rolls so they're easy and fast to make!

Ingredients

Using frozen dinner rolls:

  • 12 frozen dinner rolls — such as Rhodes (you can make more or less)
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon butter — melted
  • Coarse pretzel sea, or kosher salt

Using refrigerated dinner rolls

  • 1 can Grands! Biscuits — not flakey
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon butter — melted
  • Coarse pretzel sea, or kosher salt

Instructions

For frozen dinner rolls:

  1. Plan ahead. Even though these are “easy” they still require rising time.
  2. Note that different brands of frozen rolls might have different thaw/rise times. Check the back of your package; the Rhodes ones I use say to let sit for 3-5 hours before baking.
  3. Place your frozen rolls evenly spaced in a 9x13” pan. (Make sure they have space to grow but won’t touch each other.) Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until thawed and just under doubled in size. This will take about 3-5 hours, depending on how warm it is. I find that turning on the oven and leaving the pan on top will reduce the rising time significantly. Try not to let them puff too much or they will collapse when boiling. Just under double is perfect. Continue below.

For refrigerated dinner rolls:

  1. Separate rolls.

Instructions for boiling and baking:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat liner.

  2. Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add baking soda to the water. It will boil up when you add it, so it’s important you leave room in your pot. Boil the rolls, 2-4 at a time depending on your pot size, for 1 minute on each side. Drain with a slotted spoon and place evenly spaced on your baking sheet.

  3. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 9-13 minutes or until they are golden brown. (Different rolls will bake in varied time - refrigerated vs. frozen vs. brands.)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread, pretzels

Nutrition Information

Calories: 134, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 2978mg, Potassium: 49mg, Carbohydrates: 20g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 4g, Vitamin A: 60%, Calcium: 76%, Iron: 1.5%

**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**

Click HERE for more Pillsbury Dough Recipes! 

stack of pretzel rolls collage

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8 comments

  1. I love the shortcut….makes this recipe beyond easy. Actually, way too easy 🙂 I was recently in an airport, long layover, time killed at the bar and then Auntie Anne’s pretzels was calling my name so hard 🙂 Couldn’t resist those carbs. LOL Pinned!

  2. Pretzel buns get me every single time!  I can’t stop eating them either!  These are perfection!

  3. I really do love homemade pretzels, but you are right, they seriously take like half a day!  You are now my hero.  These are just fabulous Dorothy!

  4. Just pulled a batch out of the oven. They are warm, soft, and so very yummy! Growing up in Philly pretzel venders were everywhere. They should add these to their carts! Thanks for yet another great recipe. 

  5. I do need yo buns in my life!  LOL!!!!!  These are seriously so freakin’ fabulous!!!  Soft pretzels are amazing and now I can have pretzel rolls in 10 minutes?  I want to kiss you!  Which makes this the most awkward comment…with the whole buns sentence too.  🙂

  6. Oh dear Lord.  Now you’re speaking my language.  Sold.

  7. Hello! I enjoyed cruising around your website/blog. Your recipe for Pretzel Rolls caught my eye. I always have a can of Grands Biscuits on hand and I had all the other ingredients, so it was a natural. These were fun to make … and, as you said, EASY. We all loved them!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Can’t wait to try this recipe! These pretzel buns look so mouthwatering. Thank you for sharing!
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